NearForm: Engineering the Future with DevOps + Design Thinking
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Alex Knol, Director of DevOps
DevOps is about embracing cultural change, not just a continuous integration and continuous delivery solution--Alex Knol, a DevOps proponent.
A full stack development expert and Director of DevOps at NearForm, Knol is promulgating this message to enterprises of today. NearForm is a 140-person global team comprising DevOps specialists, engineers, delivery architects, and designers who are experts in end-to-end application development and highly-performant solutions delivery. They design and build a complete technology stack that matches clients’ exact needs from the ground up, from the underlying infrastructure through to automation. The company is helping businesses build a culture of openness, collaboration, and trust, which, in turn, allows them to learn from their mistakes and grow faster as a brand.
In DevOps Culture, Design Thinking and Open Collaboration are Key
NearForm employs a design thinking and one-team partnership approach in all its services. At the outset of a client engagement, it builds an end-to-end understanding of the intricacies of the client’s business before assessing the usability of the available solutions and developing improved solutions using a fail-fast iterative approach. It utilizes DevOps best practices to assist companies in enabling a reliable, repeatable, and secure software delivery process.
In one such instance, EY, the management consulting firm, sought NearForm to assist in building a new solution to reach a previously underserved market segment. “Our team— comprising a product designer, UI experts, an executive architect, and DevOps specialists—assembled to transform EY’s ideas into a convenient solution,” says Knol. “We carried out several iterations for enhanced functionality in different applications to build a seamless self-serve online platform, a Virtual Advisor for SMEs.” EY recognized the immense potential of the newly-built applications and went on to use them more broadly, across different regions.
DevOps, by its nature, involves extensive internal and external communication, therefore, we ensure our clients solve the complex challenges related to their people and processes by communicating with each other seamlessly
They acknowledged that the focus on design-led product development coupled with NearForm’s expertise in open source, Node.js and microservices left them well-positioned to make the most of these technologies.
“In many such instances, clients are facing the challenge of supporting different configurations for their application stack in a multi-tenant environment,” says Knol. “We help them engineer their system and migrate the entire application stack from the initial development environment to the cloud, within days. We adopt a co-sourcing approach to ensure the client’s team remains in control of the artifacts and processes, avoiding vendor lock-in, and minimising the risk. Our senior DevOps experts are available to review new developments and proactively advise on ways to improve processes, adopt different tools, or implement new technologies to further support the clients’ secure DevOps journey.”
Knowledge-transfer is a key aspect, but what is equally important to NearForm is establishing an environment for collaboration. “DevOps, by its nature, involves extensive communication. We ensure our clients solve the complex challenges related to their people and processes by communicating with each other seamlessly. We also support them to engage with open source communities that will give them more firepower and better talent,” says Knol. “Through knowledge-transfer and skill-building, we ensure our clients can manage their applications and IT infrastructure on their own.”
The Intersection of DevOps and Open Source
NearForm has tremendous experience in managing containerized infrastructure projects on Kubernetes and in all major cloud providers. It helps clients set up runtime monitoring coupled with rule-based or AI-driven automated containment to secure dynamic application ecosystems. Moreover, they cater to the needs of companies that are running large scale Node.js containerized workloads.
Utilizing innovative digital technologies, NearForm is always enhancing the services it offers to better serve its clients globally. Coming from an open-source and community-based projects background with deep experience in Node.js, the company has also been hugely successful in Agile. They are leading and assisting many organisations to adopt InnerSource— the practice of using open-source culture and best practices inside organizations—to transform the quality of code produced, improve collaboration across teams, and retain quality developers. In essence, it can revolutionize inefficient engineering organizations.
With a clear vision for accelerating innovation and building modern technology organisations, NearForm is fast emerging as the engine of growth for tomorrow’s leading brands.
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